ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Does it Mean to be a Risk Taker

Updated on June 15, 2010

Are you a Risk Taker?

Has anyone ever told you, "You can't change. People don't change." If so, have you dared that same person not to change? It's impossible.

Change is one thing that is every bit as certain as death, and even more certain than taxes. You cannot avoid it. Sure, some of your primary characteristics remain the same - eye color, sex, fondness for foods, core beliefs, general temperament, etc., you are going to change.

Your weight, health, income, many tastes, friendships and relationships, and perhaps most noticeably - your age - all will change with time. Change is part of living within the time and space continuum. Even those things that you are charged with being unable to change, poor grammar, an ill temper or other troublesome habits, will change with practice, patience and time.

Another constant in our lives - in line with death, taxes, and habits we would like to rid ourselves of - is adversity.

Change and adversity are the primary factors that present us with risk. Except that things change and/or go other than as we want, we do not face risk. Risk is a function of making choices for dealing with change and adversity. We tend to say that the greater the potential for change or adversity to be overcome, the greater the risk.

And, we tend to think of a risk taker as one who will confront risk by choosing the affirmative mode of taking it on rather than passively allowing the changes and adversity to come and go and accept their results.

In the English language, we've developed quite a dichotomy to distinguish between behaviors and choices we perceive as "risk taking" and those we view as "risk avoiding:

Risk Taker Risk Avoider

action inaction

entrepreneur worker

gambler spectator

derivatives money markets

And so it goes. But are these categories truly indicative of risk taking? Actually, I think not. Here's why.

Consider the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Many would consider him to be among the most intelligent, most capable of lawyers in his generation, if not among the most intelligent of all our citizens. Yet, what of his choice to pursue a career in the judiciary rather than as an attorney or entrepreneur?

Does this make him a risk taker or risk avoider? Certainly it could be argued both ways. But because change and adversity face all of us, it is clear that whatever choice he made, he was taking some risk.

Risk is about opportunity cost, and there is risk in every choice we make. The degree of risk is dictated by the level of change and potential adversity anticipated in the decision that had to be made, but the decision itself cannot avoid risk - it can merely approach it from a different perspective.

For example, if you leap off a cliff, anyone would consider your behavior to be very risk taking if considered in a vacuum. But what if you are equipped with a hang glider that you have used many times, and furthermore, what if a rhinoceros was charging toward you at a high rate of speed? Now which behavior is more risky?

My grandmother was one of the dearest, sweetest people I have ever known. She took care of her health, was unpresumptuous and kept her home and finances in order. Generally this is considered to be a rather risk averse lifestyle. But what does that mean?

My grandfather died in his mid-50's, leaving my grandmother a widow. She lived into her mid-90's and never remarried. All of her children were grown and she spent of those years living in a retirement community, and finally, a nursing home.

I wonder, were her choices really risk free? Again, I think not.

Every decision involves risk - often "risk avoidance" is a misnomer for "decision avoidance" - but change will come regardless.

Don't be afraid to make decisions - and don't be afraid to be wrong! All you can do is think through the horizon of possibilities you can foresee, and make the best choices for you.

Take on your decisions with purpose, and you won't regret it being unafraid to "take some risk".

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      medhanie kiflom 

      5 years ago

      best one. well put!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)